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U.K. Lawmakers to Decide on May's Brexit Deal; China Sentences Canadian to Death for Drug Smuggling; Opioids' Grim Toll in U.S.; Details Emerging in Jayme Closs Kidnap Case. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired January 15, 2019 - 01:00   ET



[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The moment of truth. So Theresa May with her Brexit deal about to be voted on in Parliament. The British Prime Minister is facing a defeat of historic proportions. The do-over denial from the U.S. President telling reporters he does not and never has worked for the Russians. And he hid under the bed for hours at a time. A twisted plan revealed in court as the man who could face to kidnapping an American teenager and murdering her parents appears in court.

Hello, welcome to viewers all around the world, wherever you are. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Prime Minister Teresa May is facing perhaps the biggest crisis in British politics in more than half a century. Parliament is set to vote on a Brexit deal in the day ahead and defeat is all but certain. That could mean a No Deal bracelet coming into March possibly a second referendum and potentially the end of Mrs. May's government. But the Prime Minister is again urging MPs to consider the consequences of rejecting her deal which she admits is far from perfect.


THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: So I say to members on all sides of this House, whatever you may have previously concluded, over these next 24 hours give this deal a second look. No, it is not perfect and yes it is a compromise.


VAUSE: Once again live to London this our CNN Business Reporter Hadas Gold, also with us in Los Angeles CNN European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas. But Hadas first to you. Any indication that Theresa May and her brakes are plan won any last-minute support as a result of all the urgings that we heard from Theresa May?

HADAS GOLD, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: In short, no. We have seen a handful of members of parliament who were previously opposed to the deal switch over but the numbers just don't seem to be in her favor despite that Teresa May did spend most of Monday trying to convince people to come on to her side. She went to a pro-Brexit sitting in a United Kingdom and spoke to factory workers there. She made a speech as we heard in the House of Commons.

And we know behind the scenes that she's been trying calling up members of parliament over the weekend trying to get them to come to her side and vote for her deals which she says is the only way to honor their 2016 referendum and deliver on Brexit without any sort of delay or May said a sort of risk of No Deal. But again we just don't seem to have the number. She seems to be heading towards a crushing defeat at that vote tonight in Parliament.

VAUSE: And with that, the opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn says if this vote does not pass, then the government should go with it. Listen to what Jeremy Corbyn said.


JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER OF LABOUR PARTY: The government is in disarray. It's clear. If the Prime Minister's deal is rejected tomorrow, it's time for general election. It's time for a new government.


VAUSE: So Dominic, to you, it's all about the margins here, the margin of defeat. What's considered to be a survivable loss for Teresa May and this vote and at the other end, what's considered to be game over?

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Well, I think it's very hard to see what -- I mean, where it is here. That's clearly right now the Conservative Party along with the DUP have a majority in parliament. Jeremy Corbyn cannot pass anything through Parliament without support from members from the -- from the Conservative Party.

She had an internal vote just before December in which 100 members of the Conservative Party voted against her. She was able to survive that because they didn't have enough votes to topple her. I think at this particular juncture, taking a vote before the Houses of Parliament a government that cannot legislate, a government that could not find support for its particular motions raises, of course, serious questions as to whether they can continue to govern and whether they should govern.

And so I think that any potential defeat at this juncture is devastating no matter what the numbers are all the more so because she has no Plan B. The Plan B that she talked about which was to go back to the European Union and to begin the process of kind of renegotiation has essentially been foreclosed today through the letters she received from the commission and the council in which they've essentially said that there is very little else that they can do to help her at this time. This is a U.K. problem and not an E.U. problem.

And so that defeat then is going to open up a whole range of questions and options. And one has to even wonder why she's bringing this vote in front of the Parliament given the fact that the overwhelming evidence is that it will not pass. [01:05:16] VAUSE: So Hadas, as Dominic has just said, there really isn't a Plan B here. There's no rabbit up the sleeve here for Theresa May, rather I should say. So -- but there is a process of what happens when this Brexit plan goes down you know and as expected when she loses this vote in parliament in the coming hours. So what are we looking at?

GOLD: So there are a few things that could happen. Number one is that according to recent amendment, Theresa May has to return to the House of Parliament in just three days with sort of a follow-up statement or a follow-up plan. In between in those three days she may go to Brussels and try to get some extra concessions from the European Union. But what is also likely to happen is a few other movements at the same time. Jeremy Corbyn as we just heard will likely perhaps table a no-confidence vote and tried to overthrow Theresa May and the Tory Party. It could lead to a general election.

We could see Theresa May calling for some indicative votes in Parliament to try to find some sort of consensus because that's the problem here. There seems to be no consensus on really any plan. There's no consensus on Theresa May's deal. There's no consensus on whether Jeremy Corbyn should table a no-confidence vote and whether he would win. And Theresa May just needs to figure out what will get more members of parliament on board with her.

That possibly could lead to her ditching, her current deal plan and moving to a different sort of Brexit, maybe a Norway model or something like that. Those are all things that clearly Theresa May is probably working on. There will be a cabinet meeting early today where I'm sure that will be discussed. The thing is we just don't know what her Plan B will be because thus far she's been trying to tell everybody that it's her deal or possibly no Brexit at all. John?

VAUSE: And Dominic, there are some reports out there as many as you know, 400 MPs, many more could vote down the breaks a deal. That would mean if you do the math that's a defeat of what, about 150, in 150 range assuming you know (INAUDIBLE) MPs vote in favor of the 650. If there is a defeat that big over 150-200 mark, that's historic territory for this government and historic not in a good way.

THOMAS: No, but everything is historic to the extent that you know, even a vote of no-confidence you know, in a sitting Majesty's government you know, you've got to go all the way back to you know, the late 1970s to James Callaghan that paved the way for a Thatcher election. What's interesting here is that once again the outcome of a general election is highly unpredictable as indeed would be a second referendum.

The Conservative Party along with the DUP as I mentioned earlier do have a majority in parliament and at this particular juncture it's really all about a game of strategy as many have said a game of kind of chicken. The closer you get to the 29th deadline the greater likelihood is that Brexit will happen. What's so interesting is that resume in December was talking about hurdy or being the only deal or one would have to face a no deal and the Houses of Parliament and I think that was indicative last week came back and said that essentially they did not want to see a no deal go ahead.

And it was an important statement that the Prime Minister's government serves at the basis of the confidence of the Houses of Parliament. And I think it was a strong message to her. What she came back with after that is her deal for the potential of no Brexit. And as Hadas mentioned, the trip up to stoke was especially interesting because that is precisely the place where in 2017 the conservatives in South Stoke stole a seat from the Labour Party and it's an area that voted overwhelmingly to leave the European Union.

I think that's also a message to the concerts of the Labour Party there to that be careful what you wish for. A general election may not provide you with the outcome that you that you wish for. And certainly, for the Conservative Party, a general election could further weaken their position of course in the Houses of Parliament.

And so I think that the key word here is extension. Is Theresa May or whatever happens tomorrow going to be able to go to the European Union and ask for an extension to this process so that we can get some kind of resolution.

VAUSE: The only certainties it seems is that everything is uncertain at this point. Dominic here in Los Angeles and Hadas there in London, I appreciate both joining us. Thank you. We like you to join CNN for special Braxit coverage all day long leading up to this vote of extensive coverage once the vote is taken. Live reports from London, Brussels, all around the world of the impact of Parliament's decision.

U.S. President Donald Trump on the defensive in a very big way lashing out after some explosive reporting about him and his ties to Russia. Mr. Trump's appearance in New Orleans seemed to overshadowed by the reports -- seemed to be overshadowed by the reports and his own combative denials. He angrily denied ever working for Russia and outstanding statement for a sitting president to make. CNN's Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta has details.


[01:10:02] JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump's response to the question as to whether he has been working on behalf of Russia can be summed up in one word. Yet --

[01:10:09] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've never worked for Russia. Not only did I never work for Russia, I think it's a disgrace that you even ask that question because it's a whole big fat hoax. It's just a hoax.

ACOSTA: The President pushed back on a series of hair-raising reports on the Russia investigation. Both the New York Times and CNN reported that FBI agents launched an inquiry into the President's decision to fire the bureau's director James Comey in 2017 to find out whether Mr. Trump had done so to directly benefit the Russian government. The President still defends that decision.

TRUMP: I guess they started it because I fired Comey which was a great thing I did for our country. So the people doing that investigation were people that have been caught that are known scoundrels there in -- I guess you could say they're dirty cop.

ACOSTA: The President initially justified the Comey firing by saying he had an axe to grind good to Russia probe.

TRUMP: When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.

ACOSTA: Over this past weekend, the President didn't give a direct answer when he was asked whether he was working on behalf of the Russians.

JEANINE PIRRO, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia Mr. President?

TRUMP: I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked. I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written. And if you read the article you see that they found absolutely nothing.

ACOSTA: The White House is also scrambling for answers after the Washington Post reported Mr. Trump tried to conceal his private meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin by taking notes from an interpreter and instructing that person to stay quiet after one face to face encounter at a summit in Germany in 2017. Page that the President say he was just worried about leaks.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: The President at that time in 2017 was suffering from a great number of leaks. We're always concerned about leaks obviously particularly national security leaks.

ACOSTA: Democrats are seizing in the new revelation saying they may explain why the President seems eager to accept Putin's denials that Moscow interfered in the 2016 election like he did in Helsinki last year.

TRUMP: I have great confidence in my intelligence people but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be.

ACOSTA: Hillary Clinton, Democrats say, may have been on to something after all.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATES: Well that's because he'd rather have a puppet as president of United States.

TRUMP: No puppet, no puppet.

CLINTON: And it's pretty clear --

TRUMP: You're the puppet.

CLINTON: It's pretty clear you won't admit that the Russian --

ACOSTA: The President is also digging in his heels on whether to reopen the government still insisting on his border wall though we seem to roll out declaring a national emergency to force the military to build it.

TRUMP: I'm not looking to call a National Emergency. This is so simple.

ACOSTA: New polls continue to show the public blames the President more so than Democrats for the shutdown. That's not how the President laid it out what he spoke to a group of farmers in New Orleans.

TRUMP: The government remained shut down for one reason and one reason only, the Democrats will not fund border security.

ACOSTA: The President brushed off any worries that he was trying to hide his interactions with Putin telling reporters that his encounters with the Russian leader have been what he described as successful. But that's exactly what concerns Democrats who also say the President's meetings with Putin can be described as successful for the Russians. Jim Acosta, CNN the White House.


VAUSE: For more, I'm joined now by CNN Contributor and former Moscow Bureau Chief Jill Dougherty. So, Jill, this story's been out now for a couple days. How they spinning it in Russia? How they see you know, this allegation that the U.S. president is actually being investigated as a possible Kremlin agent?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I think basically the approach is that this is what they call the deep state and they use that phrase the deep state trying to attack the President of the United States, the administration and that this is kind of a war of the worlds that there has been this deep state all along. And that's what they were saying actually a couple of years ago but now it has intensified and that this deep state is intent on getting rid of Donald Trump.

VAUSE: You know, there was also the other significant report over the last couple days which CNN has confirmed about the lengths that Donald Trump went to erase all copies, all records of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, even confiscating or seizing the notes of the interpreters. Yet in the presidential library of Dwight Eisenhower, there are detailed notes of these conversations with Premier Khrushchev at Camp David at 1959.

What is interesting they reveal about a trust between these two men. All that entity later with YouTube spy plane internet. Now, all this is great for the history buffs. But what are the more immediate concerns or one of the implications if there are no notes, no official records at least on the U.S. side of a meeting between a Russian and an American leader?

[01:15:20] DOUGHERTY: Well, I mean, number one, it would be what did the president actually say, what did perhaps he agree to? What did he discuss? These are very important because let's say that President of the United States meets another president. And says, yes, we will open up that border and give you half of the United States. That is the word of the president. It's a very serious thing. So, right off the bat, you have to know what exactly the president committed to, didn't commit to. And then in a broader sense, when you look at the administration position on any subject, you need people normally on the same team understanding what the play is. What does the president want to do, what do other officials understand that he wants to do, how can they support that? And you need education of everybody. Everybody has to know what's going on.

And then, for -- I think the other side of it would be don't forget that President -- that Vladimir Putin has his own interpreter, and his own note takers et cetera. And he has an advantage because he speaks English. And Donald Trump does not speak Russian.

So, it gives him, President Putin, a great advantage in these discussions to know precisely what was said. And then, he has his own memory of what happened with his knowledge of English.

VAUSE: So -- you know -- you know, the assumption being, of course, that there is a record of the conversation between these two men. It's just being held by Moscow.


VAUSE: Which means that, that is essentially the only official account of what has been said. So, if that has to be disputed anyway, it makes it very, very difficult.

DOUGHERTY: It does. And then, there's another plot twist which is, of course, after these meetings, there are usually readouts from both sides. And the White House will say, you know, President Trump met with President Putin and they agreed, or they discussed, or they did whatever. And the Russians to issue their statement.

Now, if the United States really can't issue a statement realistically of what happened during that meeting but the Russians can, then that becomes the narrative, or else it looks very confusing because, then, the White has to say -- House has to say, "Well, no, that's not really what happened."

So, you can see that immediately, there's even let's say a narrative P.R. approach that is much more advantageous to Russia in this circumstance.

VAUSE: OK, Jill, appreciate your insights because you've had time in Washington, you've had time in Moscow, just to name a couple of places where you've reported from. So, it's great to have you on this. It's most appreciated.

DOUGHERTY: Thank you, John.

VAUSE: Well, still to come here, it's called Occam's razor, a principle of logic that the most likely explanation is often the one which is the least complicated. So, how does that theory apply to Donald Trump's relationship with Russia? More on that in a moment

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [01:20:50] VAUSE: As this happened before, the U.S. President lashing out at the FBI officials who started this investigation into whether he was working on behalf of Russia, attacking their credibility.


TRUMP: The people doing that investigation were people that have been caught, that are known, scoundrels. They're in -- I guess you could say, they're dirty cops.


VAUSE: And some fellow Republicans like Senator Lindsey Graham are supporting the president, also by criticizing the FBI.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC), SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: It tells me a lot about the people running the FBI, McCabe and that crowd. I don't trust him as far as I throw them. So, if this really did happen, Congress needs to know about it. And I -- and what I want to do is make sure how could the FBI do that?


VAUSE: Occam's razor is the principle of logic from the 14th century which still applies today as a means of problem-solving. States, "When you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better." Or put another way, the explanation which makes the least number of assumptions is usually the best.

With that in mind, how best to explain the extensive ties between Donald Trump and Russia? Everything from the unusually high number of Trump campaign officials with suspicious links to Russia. Including the heavily indebted campaign chairman Paul Manafort who shared internal polling data with a Russian oligarch, suspected of being close to Russian intelligence.

The June 9th, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Don Junior, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a Kremlin-linked lawyer offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. Was it offers, President Trump, says he was thinking about the Russia thing before firing FBI Director James Comey.

Earlier, during an interview with NBC News, he raised the investigation as the least part of the reason for Comey's dismissal. There has been his constant and consistent refusal to acknowledge Russian election interference. A few grudging concessions have often been quickly contradicted. And then, there's now the infamous joint appearance with Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki summit when Donald Trump publicly sided with the Russian president over his own intelligence community.


TRUMP: Also I have great confidence in my intelligence people. But I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. President Putin, he just said, it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be.


VAUSE: President went on later to clarify. He said, "I never saw there any reason why they could not be." But there's also been his business dealings. Now admitting to an ongoing negotiation to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, while running for office. But at the time, lying that any such deal was in the works.

And when it comes to cover-ups, false or misleading statements, and outright lies by Trump or anyone close to him, it's a pretty safe guess that Russia will often be involved. This is just a few examples what is publicly known about the U.S. president and Russia. There are a lot more and presumably just a fraction of what the FBI is aware of.

CNN intelligence and security analyst, and former CIA operative Bob Baer is with us from Washington. So, Bob let's apply Occam's razor here to all of this. The simplest explanation it seems to be the possibility that the President of the United States was working for the Russians, which is why the FBI, and opened their investigation.

ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Look, John, Donald Trump was cultivated by the KGB going back to 1986. We know the name of the first officer who met him. He goes to Moscow in '87 at the invitation of the KGB.

You know, presume -- you know, it's ostensibly interesting. But it was actually the KGB. He comes back and puts these open letters in three American newspapers, supporting Soviet propaganda. Ever since then, he has lived off one way or another Russian money, Soviet money. And a lot of it was laundered KGB money.

Nobody in the intelligence community believes he was aware that, that was KGB money. But the point is, he has been indebted to Russia. This man is transactional. He depends on Russian money as he does Saudi money, and he's prepared for buck to look the other way.

In the business, in the espionage business, we call this an unwitting asset. He does exactly what you want him to, but he doesn't need to know what the details are. And there's nobody sitting in a room, there's no car meetings, nobody's flashing credentials, and he has never varied from that.

[01:25:29] VAUSE: He was specifically asked on Saturday on Fox, you know, on Fox News. Yes, "Do you work with the Russians?" He never actually denied it. On Monday, he had to do over at the denial. Here it is.


TRUMP: I never work for Russia. And you know that answer better than anybody. I never work for Russia. Not only did I never work for Russia, I think it's a disgrace that you even ask that question. Because it's a whole big fat hoax. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: What do you make of that response from the president? Well, it's crazy. It's a hoax. Every action he's taking, he said Russians all around him. There are numerous contacts between Russian intelligence officers in the Trump campaign over, and over, and over again.

There's FBI affidavits, a surveillance report filed with courts showing that Trump people in touch with the KGB. He's not in touch with the Chinese, he's not in touch with the French or anybody else. It's all the KGB.

Hundreds of contacts, hundreds of millions of dollars, possibly money through Deutsche Bank, comes out of Russia. The Russians, the point here is going back to Occam's razor, they look at Trump as an asset. And this was proved over and over again with intercepts collected by the National Security Agency. They were popping champagne corks in Moscow when he was elected.

VAUSE: And CNN -- yes, in the Duma and the parliament that which seems unusual in itself. CNN obtained the transcripts from the closed-door congressional testimony given by two FBI officials, including general counsel at the time James Baker, who said, "There's a range of things this could possibly be. We need to investigate, because we don't know whether, you know, the worst-case scenario is possibly true or the president is totally innocent and we need to get this thing over with. And so, he can move forward with agenda."

And you know, what's worse here that the President of the United States could be a Kremlin asset or the President of the United States is unwittingly doing all of this stuff on his own.

BAER: John, it's the same thing because more than half of Americans believe that he's being blackmailed by Russia. It's divided this country like I've never seen, and I can't recall any history book we've been divided this badly since the Civil War. And never has a president been accused of being the asset of a foreign intelligence service, ever. Not even -- nobody has ever accused.

So, Putin is winning the Cold War. He's divided this country, he has done more political sabotage than the United States. Then when Germany sent Lenin back to Russia in a closed boxcar, period.

VAUSE: You know, over the weekend, the other big story came from The Washington Post about the great lengths Donald Trump as president has taken to erase all records of conversations he's had with Putin. That is a very conscious act. Is that someone -- the actions of someone who's an unfortunate victim of an incredible long list of incredible coincidences or is that a pattern of behavior of someone who knows what they're doing in is where, but they need to cover their tracks?

BAER: No, it's what the KGB, how they describe him is a useful idiot. He does their bidding, he doesn't know what he's doing. And anybody that would hide the transcripts from a meeting with Putin is just politically stupid. Because it -- over everybody, now, even -- with a mind is looking at this, what did they talk about?

Did, did, Trump give away -- you know, the Ukraine? What else is he given away? You know, did he give Syria away? Really? I mean, that's incomprehensible to the military why we would be pulling out, effectively handing Syria to Putin and Iran?

It makes no sense to anybody in the Middle East. Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. military. The military right now is outraged. I mean, I've had generals and admirals talk about, maybe it's time for a palace coup. I mean, that's how upset they are for a president to do this in your face, he's not conscious of what he's doing. So, I do think he's an unwitting asset of Vladimir Putin.

VAUSE: Just for the record, this is what an official U.S. Russia transcript looks like. This is page seven of 591 pages, 1996 Kremlin meeting between presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin. Seven U.S. officials are noted as present along with Bill Clinton. So that -- you know, that's how it happens. That's how it's meant to happen. All the consequences when the only side has the record of what was said are the Russians.

BAER: Well, more to the point is that Donald Trump trusts the Russians more than his own government. So you wonder whose side he's on.

VAUSE: Yes. OK, Bob, we leave it there. But good to speak with you, and entertaining, and terrifying times, I guess, before this turns out to be true.

BAER: Thanks. It's not done

VAUSE: Yes. Thank you.

[01:29:52] BAER: Well, sentenced to die for drug smuggling by a court in China, but could this Canadian be paying a much higher price for his crimes because of a diplomatic spat between Beijing and Ottawa.


VAUSE: Thank you for staying with us everybody. And welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.

Donald Trump's legal team has denied a request by special counsel Robert Mueller to interview the President in person. Mr. Trump has already answered written questions but Mueller has follow-ups. A source tells CNN Mueller is not satisfied.

Meantime, the President says he never worked for Russia, after a series of explosive reports raising troubling questions about his unusual connections with Moscow. He also called the investigation a big, fat hoax, blasted the FBI for being, quote, "known scoundrels and dirty cops".

Plans for a second U.S.-North Korea summit are picking up speed. One source says a letter from President Trump was hand delivered to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over the weekend.

Also one of Pyongyang's top negotiators could visit Washington this week to finalize details of the meeting. Denuclearization talks with North Korea have been stalled for months.

The British parliament will start debate in just a few hours on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal with the E.U. The plan has little hope of success leaving the entire Brexit process up in the air.

CNN's Bianca Nobilo reports now from London.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tuesday is decision day for the Prime Minister's Brexit deal that she struck with the European Union. Theresa May's deal has been unpopular from its inception. She faces opposition from her own back benches who want to see a harder Brexit and also from the opposition Labour Party as well as Remainers within her own party that would like to see a softening of Brexit or a second referendum.

Nevertheless, she appealed again to the country and to the House of Commons today reiterating the importance of the vote tomorrow. And asking people to think about how history will remember them.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: So I say to members on all sides of this house, whatever you may have previously concluded, over these next 24 hours give this deal a second look. No it is not perfect and, yes, it is a compromise.

[01:34:45] But when the history books are written, people will look at this decision -- people will look -- people will look -- people will look at the decision of this house tomorrow and ask did we deliver on the country's vote to leave the European Union. Did we safeguard our economy, our security and our union? Or did we let the British people down?

NOBILO: Despite the Prime Minister's last-ditch attempt to sell her deal to the House of Commons the question in Westminster isn't if she will win but by how much she will lose.

By some estimates and analysis in the U.K., she could lose by over 200 votes, placing that as one of the worst parliamentary defeats in the history of British politics.

To try and cut her losses the Prime Minister will be considering amendments which have the potential to put pressure on her to change the course of Brexit. They'll be voted on before her deal Tuesday night.

Bianca Nobilo, CNN -- London.


VAUSE: A court in China has sentenced a Canadian man to death for drug trafficking in a case that just set to further strain diplomatic relations between the two countries. Robert Schellenberg was found guilty of trying to smuggle more than 200 kilograms of meth into Australia. His legal team plans to appeal that sentence.

This comes as China protests Canada's arrest of Chinese telecom executive Meng Wanzhou. The U.S. accuses the Huawei CFO of violating sanctions against Iran.

For more now, CNN's Steven Jiang, live at CNN Beijing. And Steven it seems the government is allowing state-controlled media to answer the critics here who say the death penalty is pay back for the arrest of that Huawei executive.

We have this from the "Global Times". "Whatever Canada does, it is the rule of law but whatever China does is not. Canadian elites are feeling so righteous with this double standard and it is time for them to wake up from such cultural and value narcissism.

If that is any indication of how the government is speaking right now, clearly they're not prepared to back down in any of this.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: That's right. And what the "Global Times" article neglected to mention, of course, is the timing which is the key here. Because Schellenberg was actually arrested back in December 2014 and it took almost four years for the court to hand down his first conviction as an accessory to drug smuggling and a sentence of 15 years in prison last November even though he had insisted all along he was an innocent tourist being framed.

But after he appealed that decision, however, what happened was Meng was arrested in Canada. Then his case all of a sudden seems to have been fast tracked. He quickly had an appeal hearing. During that hearing the court sided with the prosecution who claimed to have uncovered new evidence to prove he was a principle offender not just an accessory. Then he, two weeks later, faced a new trial Monday, yesterday, and then was quickly convicted and sentenced to death.

Now, the thing to keep in mind, of course John, this is a country where the ruling communist party has absolute control over the judicial system. And officials of state media here have also been warning all along that Canada would face serious consequences if it does not free Miss Meng.

So all this is really why more and more people are convinced more than ever after this latest conviction that Schellenberg has indeed become a pawn in this increasingly nasty diplomatic fight -- John.

VAUSE: If this is in fact a diplomatic fight then what are the chances that Schellenberg's lawyers will actually have any success with his appeal?

JIANG: It's fairly low at this point. As you know, China has almost a hundred percent conviction rate and the chances that that kind of conviction being overturned on appeal is also extremely low.

And also, keep in mind, of course, he is not the only Canadian facing potentially serious consequences. The Chinese authorities actually have detained two other Canadian citizens after Meng's arrest. And they are still languishing behind bars.

So that's why despite the strong denials from the Beijing government linking these cases involving Canadians to the Meng arrest it's really becoming increasingly clear to a lot of observers even China's own ambassadors to China last week acknowledged in an op-ed article that these detentions of the Canadians are China's "self-defense", quote- unquote -- John.

VAUSE: Ok, Steven, thank you. Steven Jiang there live again for us in Beijing.

We'll take a short break. Still to come here, the growing toll of opioid abuse and overdoses in the United States and why more and more children are being caught up in this crisis.

Also chilling details emerge in the Jayme Closs kidnapping case. The man who confessed to taking her and killing her parents has made his first court appearance.


VAUSE: As a sign of the extent of the opioid crisis in the U.S. with new statistics out showing the odds of dying from an opioid overdose are now greater than the chances of dying in a car accident. The finding comes from the National Safety Council looking at data on preventable injuries and deaths from 2017. According to the Centers for Disease Control overdose deaths also reached a new high that year -- more than 70,000.

Dr. Reef Karim is a psychiatrist and addiction medicine physician, also the chief medical officer for Vitality Health Tech and he is with us live this hour from Los Angeles. It's been a while, Reef. Good to see you.


VAUSE: Ok. Well, here is a statement to CNN from the National Safety Council. "Too many people still believe the opioid crisis is abstract and will not impact them. Many still don't see it as a major threat to them or their family. These data show the gravity of the crisis we have known for some time that opioid overdose is an everyday killer and this odds illustrate that in a very jarring way."

All of that is absolutely 100 percent spot on true but, you know, in terms of a national conversation, it seems this country has moved on.

KARIM: Yes, it's scary. It's frightening. One in 96 people in their lifetime may pass due to an overdose from an opioid. And the scary thing is there is a stigma, right? The stigma is opioids -- bad. That's like heroin and drugs and it's a bad thing.

No, opioids are coming in counterfeit pills into this country through China and the Mexican cartel. You don't know that you may be taking an opioid that might be laced with fentanyl. And if you take enough of them it can hit your respiratory depression system and you may die from not being able to breathe.

VAUSE: You know, there's a whole lot of studies out at the moment and there's one which shows that there has been a surge in the number of children who are overdosing on opioids. Also the CDC has found opioid use is one reason for a decrease in life expectancy overall among Americans.

You know, the impact from these drugs, as you say you know, this continues to spread and is spreading from one section of society to another. You know, is there something which clearly needs to be done, you know, it's the obvious low hanging fruit but for some reason it's not being done?

KARIM: Yes. I mean there's many things we can do here, but to address the children -- man, it bothers me so much about what some of these pharmaceutical companies are doing. They are not just advertising to adults to say that, oh, our drug is fine, it's not addictive.

They are not just advertising to about how their drug is completely safe. They are advertising to kids. They are making oxycontin for children. Then when they get heat from the U.S. they advertise internationally that their drug is safe. And now one company is saying, yes, we may have had a problem with our drugs, but now we are creating a new drug to combat the addiction problem that our first drug created.

[01:45:00] There's so many -- I mean it's crazy.

VAUSE: Sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt it's just like -- it's like the tobacco industry.

KARIM: It's exactly like the tobacco industry.

VAUSE: You know, a few months ago Congress passed this new law which talked about expanded medical treatment for opioid users and trying to making it harder -- you mentioned it -- to send the illicit drugs in the mail especially fentanyl which is mostly coming from China.

How much is this access to drugs, ordering them on the Internet, have it delivered by, you know, the U.S. Postal Service directly to your house. How much is this sort of playing into an increase in the use and abuse?

KARIM: With our technological improvements, we have made it very easy to access opiates. You can get them on the net. You can get from doctors. You can get them from other providers. You can get them from your friends. You can get -- counterfeit pills are everywhere in addition to our regular opiate pills in addition to heroin. It's very, very common.

There are certain things we can do though. We can have a national medical registry that tracks these prescriptions, opioids and other drugs of abuse. We can have Narcan everywhere, which is the antidote -- Naloxone, the antidote to an opioid overdose. We can train doctors better. We can train medical students better. Additionally cannabis -- and I can know this is controversial -- cannabis helps with sleep, anxiety, pain -- the very three things that opiates are usually used for. And it can help with opiate withdrawal and it doesn't affect your respiratory drive system so you can't overdose on it.

Now we're not talking about like recreational use of tons of cannabis. We're talking about like micro-dosing of cannabis.

VAUSE: You talked about, ok, using opioids as a painkiller. That's -- you know, that's the story. That's usually how all of this starts. Opioids are prescribed as a painkiller. You get hooked and, you know. (INAUDIBLE) found that, you know, patients with chronic non-cancer pain, evidence from high-quality studies show that opioid use is associated with statistically significant but small improvements in pain and physical functioning and increased risk of vomiting a placebo.

It's a big way of saying in other words, opioids aren't that effective as painkillers. So why are they continued to be prescribed?

KARIM: Yes. We're not talking about like this magical drug that will help. And you know, it does help with acute pain, but for chronic pain there are many other treatment modalities besides opiates that you can do.

Here is the thing, we have a system. The system is doctors have always been told since the 90s, you've got to treat that patient's pain. You've got to treat that patient's pain. Like a fifth vital sign in addition to heart rate and temperature and respiratory and blood pressure. So we have been trained to prescribe when somebody is in pain.

But there are so many ways that people express pain and taking an opiate that is not that effective for chronic pain has caused a huge problem in this country. So we need a philosophical shift in the way that we treat pain.

Pain is not just physical. It's also emotional. And just throwing opioid pills at people is not going to relieve them of their suffering.

VAUSE: Yes. And while no one is talking about it, while it's not part of the national conversation that shift isn't going to happen because no one is paying any attention to it.

Reef -- we could talk about this for a while. As always --

KARIM: I know.

VAUSE: -- fantastic to have you with us. Thank you. Appreciate it.

KARIM: Thank you.

VAUSE: Cheers. New details are emerging in the abduction of Jayme Closs and the murder of her parents. The suspect Jake Patterson has been telling Wisconsin investigators how he decided to actually go after the 13- year-old. Jayme spent almost three months in captivity before escaping last week. Patterson was formally charged on Monday.

CNN's Ryan Young reports now from Barron, Wisconsin.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN U.S. CORRESPONDENT: So for several days investigators have been telling us they had a pretty strong case and moving forward they were able to talk to Jake Patterson. Jake Patterson apparently told detectives exactly how he found Jayme Closs.

One day he was on his way to work he noticed a young lady getting on a school bus. And it's at that time he tells investigators he made a decision to grab Jayme Closs. And then he set a whole other set of things into motion. He went to Walmart and bought supplies. He got get his father's shotgun. This is all the things he told investigators.

And on two occasions we went to the home to try to abduct Jayme Closs but there was too much activity. On that third time he decided this was the moment that he was going to go in.

And he tells investigators that when her father came to the door he used the shotgun shooting him and then he went inside and abducted Jayme.

Listen to investigators from the D.A. talk about how brave Jayme has been over this whole ordeal.

BRIAN WRIGHT, BARRON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Jayme deserves enormous credit as a 13-year-old and she has such bravery to have done what she had done. But there are many, many others as well that if all those pieces had not fallen into place on that particular afternoon the outcome could have been very different.

YOUNG: So Monday the judge set a $5 million bond for Jake Patterson. A lot of conversation about all the details that are in this case, but now we really see that there was no social connection between the two.

And investigators are still working on this. In fact the D.A.'s office said they're not going to be talking too much more about this complaint until they can get this to court. They still have a lot of evidence that they are going through.

[01:50:07] Ryan Young, CNN -- Barron, Wisconsin.


VAUSE: Well, so many in Poland have been left shocked by the brazen murder of a well-known man. Pawel Adamowicz was stabbed in front of thousands attending a charity event on Sunday. He was mayor of Gdansk for more than two decades. We have more now on his legacy and what we know about the suspect from CNN's Atika Shubert.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The video is disturbing. Gdansk mayor Pawel Adamowicz is on stage holding up a sparkler thanking those who attended a children's charity concert when from the right a figure in black rushes forward and stabs him in the heart and stomach. The attacker then turns to the crowd grabs the microphone and angrily blames the mayor's politics for putting him in prison.

Doctors rushed to try and save the mayor in a five-hour operation but less than 24 hours later Poland's health minister announced Mayor Adamowicz had succumbed to his injuries.

LUKASZ SZUMOWSKI, POLISH HEALTH MINISTER (through translator): The information that doctors have provided is that a short time ago the mayor died. It was not possible to overcome everything that had happened to him. May he rest in peace.

SHUBERT: The attacker was subdued on stage -- a 27-year-old man with an extensive criminal record, five years in prison for bank robbery, released just last month. Poland's vice minister of internal affairs says the man has a history of mental health issues. Police won't release his name, but he has been charged with murder.

KARINA KAMINSKA, GDANSK POLICE SPOKESWOMAN (through translator): It is important for us right now to establish how it happened, that this man came so close to the mayor of Gdansk. We know he was using identification documents issued for media. We need to establish within the next few minutes or an hour, how he got ahold of this press ID.

Was this document in his name? How did he come into possession of it? And was he really allowed to be at the place where he was? And the most important question remains, what motivated him to commit such a dramatic act?

SHUBERT: Adamowicz was a fixture of Polish politics, serving as a mayor of Gdansk for more than 20 years. He championed the rights of minority groups and was known as a calm voice in Poland's increasingly heated politics.

By Monday night scores were gathering on the streets of Gdansk and other cities across Poland to mourn Mayor Adamowicz and condemn the violence. Appealing for the country to unite in the wake of the shocking attack.

Atika Shubert, CNN.


VAUSE: And still to come here, what we think we already know about the big melt in Antarctica has scientists warning it's just the tip of the iceberg. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Bangkok trying to clear the air by firing water cannons at the thick heavy smog which has engulfed the Thai capital for days. Bangkok ranked among the top 10 polluted cities worldwide on Monday.

Many shops sold out of protective face masks over the weekend. So officials gave away 10,000 masks around the capital even though they do absolutely nothing to stop the ultra-fine particulates which actually respiratory diseases.

Scientists say Antarctica's ice is melting faster than once thought and that's ominous news for sea levels. A new study shows the melt has accelerated 280 percent in the last four decades. Antarctica holds most of the planet's ice. If all of it melts average sea levels would rise by 57 meters.

[01:55:03] Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now with more. You know, it just -- the warnings and the studies just get more dire by the day.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. And you know, it's almost every single week, right.


JAVAHERI: I think about going back the last four months and just about every single week we have had a similar finding with staggering results and data that suggests this. And you take a look, the quote that we received today here at CNN from one of the lead scientists involved with this particular study are based out of UC Irvine in Southern California.

They said Antarctica is melting away essentially. And they're saying that it's not just one particular location. It's a widespread area of the continent that is beginning to melt away.

And of course, all of that ends up in the southern ocean as elevated sea levels and all of that has a feedback loop that we'll touch on here momentarily.

But take a look at this. Because when you think about what has happened here in the past four decades and the data suggests now 39 years going back in 1979 to 2018, the melting has occurred every single one of those years. There has not been a year of recession or seeing that refreeze at a greater length. So it's consistently declining here going back to the 1970s.

Now, you take a look at this and what is also impressive is that it's inconsistent in the way that the ice has been melting across this particular part of the world.

From 1979 to 1990, losing on average 40 gigatons of sea ice per year. One gigaton, by the way, tonight is one billion tons. You look at from 2009 to 2017 that number has increased six fold up to 252 gigatons per year in those past decade or so. But John -- we did see that about 280 percent increase in the particular level of sea ice loss and again, the first two decades versus the last two decades -- that is where the most dramatic increase is seen here in the depletion of sea ice.

Now they've analyzed 176 particular basins around Antarctica all around at all these drainage points where the sea ice is melting going right into the southern ocean, we are seeing that elevated sea level across this particular region. But all of this leads to a feedback loop.

Keep in mind ice, of course, and snow here being white it's highly reflective so the sun's radiation, the energy reflects right back off of the ice, a lot of that energy goes back up in to the upper atmosphere. Once you melt that, that translates into higher sea levels but also darker ocean surfaces are remade so that solar energy is now absorbed so that feedback loop essentially allows the waters to not only warm but, of course, rise at the same time as they melt. So it's a bad news proposition all the way around across Antarctica -- John.

VAUSE: Don't worry, when we destroy this planet there's plenty others we can travel to. Oh, that's right, we've only got one.

Pedram -- thank you.

JAVAHERI: Thanks -- John.

VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.

Stay with us. Rosemary Church is up after a short break.

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